Isaiah 58:5
New International Version
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?

New Living Translation
You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD?

English Standard Version
Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD?

Berean Study Bible
Is this the fast I have chosen: a day for a man to deny himself, to bow his head like a reed, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the LORD?

King James Bible
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

New King James Version
Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the LORD?

New American Standard Bible
“Is it a fast like this that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?

NASB 1995
“Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?

NASB 1977
“Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed, And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?

Amplified Bible
“Is a fast such as this what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself [with sorrow in his soul]? Is it only to bow down his head like a reed And to make sackcloth and ashes as a bed [pretending to have a repentant heart]? Do you call this a fast and a day pleasing to the LORD?

Christian Standard Bible
Will the fast I choose be like this: A day for a person to deny himself, to bow his head like a reed, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the LORD?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Will the fast I choose be like this: A day for a person to deny himself, to bow his head like a reed, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the LORD?

American Standard Version
Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Jehovah?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
This is the fast that I have chosen: that a man will humble himself and he will bend his neck like a bow, and he lays down sackcloth and ashes for himself. You shall call a fast for this and the day of the pleasure of LORD JEHOVAH

Brenton Septuagint Translation
I have not chosen this fast, nor such a day for a man to afflict his soul; neither though thou shouldest bend down thy neck as a ring, and spread under thee sackcloth and ashes, neither thus shall ye call a fast acceptable.

Contemporary English Version
Do you think the LORD wants you to give up eating and to act as humble as a bent-over bush? Or to dress in sackcloth and sit in ashes? Is this really what he wants on a day of worship?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Is this such a fast as I have chosen: for a man to afflict his soul for a day? is this it, to wind his head about like a circle, and to spread sackcloth and ashes? wilt thou call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord?

English Revised Version
Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

Good News Translation
When you fast, you make yourselves suffer; you bow your heads low like a blade of grass and spread out sackcloth and ashes to lie on. Is that what you call fasting? Do you think I will be pleased with that?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Is this the kind of fasting I have chosen? Should people humble themselves for [only] a day? Is fasting just bowing your head like a cattail and making your bed from sackcloth and ashes? Is this what you call fasting? Is this an acceptable day to the LORD?

International Standard Version
"Is this the kind of fast that I have chosen, merely a day for a person to humble himself? Is it merely for bowing down one's head like a bulrush, for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is this what you call a fast, an acceptable day to the LORD?

JPS Tanakh 1917
Is such the fast that I have chosen? The day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, And to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the LORD?

Literal Standard Version
Is this like the fast that I choose? The day of a man’s afflicting his soul? To bow his head as a reed, And spread out sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast, And a desirable day—to YHWH?

NET Bible
Is this really the kind of fasting I want? Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves, bowing their heads like a reed and stretching out on sackcloth and ashes? Is this really what you call a fast, a day that is pleasing to the LORD?

New Heart English Bible
Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

World English Bible
Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Yahweh?

Young's Literal Translation
Like this is the fast that I choose? The day of a man's afflicting his soul? To bow as a reed his head, And sackcloth and ashes spread out? This dost thou call a fast, And a desirable day -- to Jehovah?

Additional Translations ...
Context
True Fasts and Sabbaths
4You fast with contention and strife to strike viciously with your fist. You cannot fast as you do today and have your voice be heard on high. 5Is this the fast I have chosen: a day for a man to deny himself, to bow his head like a reed, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the LORD? 6Isn’t this the fast that I have chosen: to break the chains of wickedness, to untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and tear off every yoke?…

Cross References
Matthew 6:16
When you fast, do not be somber like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they already have their full reward.

Leviticus 16:31
It is a Sabbath of complete rest for you, that you may humble yourselves; it is a permanent statute.

1 Kings 21:27
When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and fasted. He lay down in sackcloth and walked around meekly.

Ezra 8:21
And there by the Ahava Canal I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions.

Isaiah 49:8
This is what the LORD says: "In the time of favor I will answer You, and in the day of salvation I will help You; I will keep You and appoint You to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land, to apportion its desolate inheritances,

Isaiah 61:2
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of our God's vengeance, to comfort all who mourn,

Zechariah 7:5
"Ask all the people of the land and the priests, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for these seventy years, was it really for Me that you fasted?


Treasury of Scripture

Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

it such

2 Chronicles 20:3
And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

Ezra 10:6
Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away.

Nehemiah 9:1,2
Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them…

a day for a man to afflict his soul.

Isaiah 58:3
Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

Leviticus 16:29
And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:

to spread

1 Kings 21:27-29
And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly…

2 Kings 6:30
And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh.

Job 2:8
And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.

an acceptable

Isaiah 49:8
Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

Isaiah 61:2
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

Psalm 69:13
But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.









(5) A day for a man to afflict his soul.--The phrase comes from Leviticus 16:29, and describes the soul-sorrow which was the true ideal of fasting. In contrast with this we have the picture, reminding us of Matthew 6:16, of the mechanical prostrations, which are as the waving of a bulrush in the breeze. The image suggests a new aspect of our Lord's statement, that the Baptist was not as "a reed shaken by the wind" (Matthew 11:7), scil., that his fasting was not outward and ceremonial, like that of the Pharisees.

Verse 5. - Is it such a fast that I have chosen, etc.? Do you suppose that such can be the fast commanded by me in the Law - a fast which is expressly called "a day for a man to afflict his soul"? Is afflicting one's soul simply bowing down one's head as a bulrush, and making one's couch on sackcloth and ashes? Surely it is much more than this. (On the employment of "sackcloth and ashes" in fasting, see Esther 4:3; Daniel 9:3; Jonah 3:6.)

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
Is
יִֽהְיֶה֙ (yih·yeh)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

this
הֲכָזֶ֗ה (hă·ḵā·zeh)
Pg, Preposition-k | Pronoun - masculine singular
Strong's 2088: This, that

the fast
צ֣וֹם (ṣō·wm)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6685: Fasting, a fast

I have chosen,
אֶבְחָרֵ֔הוּ (’eḇ·ḥā·rê·hū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - first person common singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's 977: To try, select

a day
י֛וֹם (yō·wm)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 3117: A day

for a man
אָדָ֖ם (’ā·ḏām)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 120: Ruddy, a human being

to deny
עַנּ֥וֹת (‘an·nō·wṯ)
Verb - Piel - Infinitive construct
Strong's 6031: To be bowed down or afflicted

himself,
נַפְשׁ֑וֹ (nap̄·šōw)
Noun - feminine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 5315: A soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion

to bow
הֲלָכֹ֨ף (hă·lā·ḵōp̄)
Preposition | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 3721: To bend, bend down, be bent or bowed

his head
רֹאשׁ֗וֹ (rō·šōw)
Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 7218: The head

like a reed,
כְּאַגְמֹ֜ן (kə·’aḡ·mōn)
Preposition-k | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 100: A bulrush, a rope of bulrushes

and to spread out
יַצִּ֔יעַ (yaṣ·ṣî·a‘)
Verb - Hifil - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 3331: To strew as a, surface

sackcloth
וְשַׂ֤ק (wə·śaq)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 8242: A mesh, coarse loose cloth, sacking, a bag

and ashes?
וָאֵ֙פֶר֙ (wā·’ê·p̄er)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 665: Ashes

Will you call
תִּקְרָא־ (tiq·rā-)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's 7121: To call, proclaim, read

this
הֲלָזֶה֙ (hă·lā·zeh)
Pg, Preposition-l | Pronoun - masculine singular
Strong's 2088: This, that

a fast
צ֔וֹם (ṣō·wm)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6685: Fasting, a fast

and a day
וְי֥וֹם (wə·yō·wm)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 3117: A day

acceptable
רָצ֖וֹן (rā·ṣō·wn)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 7522: Goodwill, favor, acceptance, will

to the LORD?
לַיהוָֽה׃ (Yah·weh)
Preposition-l | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel


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OT Prophets: Isaiah 58:5 Is such the fast that I have (Isa Isi Is)
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